College Information

4-Year College Information

4-Year College InformationGo To Top of Page

Basic College Information:
  • Four-Year Colleges and Universities generally have similar requirements:
    • Students must complete A - G requirements with grades of C or higher
    • Students must complete either an SAT or ACT exam (see PSAT/SAT/ACT tab)
    • Students must apply online
      • usually apply in the fall or early winter
      • usually includes an application fee
Four Year Colleges:
  Click to select an picture...
  •  The UC system hosts 9 undergraduate universities
    • Research facilities
    • highly competitive - see admit profiles
    • larger class sizes than CSU
    • requires SAT or ACT with writing
    • The UC uses a comprehensive review of their application, meaning that there are many factors that contribute to admissions, beyond grades and test scores.
  • Apply Online - beginning August 1st.  Applications are submitted November 1-30.
    • Do not submit a transcript at time of application
    • Some majors at some UCs recommend SAT Subject Tests
      • click HERE for the list
      CSU logo
    • The CSU system hosts 23 campuses statewide
    • With the exception of Cal Poly SLO, and San Diego State, the CSUs are not as selective as the UCs.
    • CSUs offer students the following:
      • Less costly education
      • Easier access than UCs
      • More of a practical education; not as heavy in the research as the UCs
    • Apply online at
      • Applications open October 1 and are due November 30th 
      • Self report coursework and grades
      • No letters of rec or personal statements
      • No activities and award listings needed
      • Do not submit a transcript at time of application
      • How-to application flyer
    • Admissions
      • Eligibility Index formula is utilized to determine admission
      • Index includes GPA and test scores
      • Each school has determined an index for their college as well as for their impacted majors to determine if a student will be granted admission or not
    • Websites for more information
    • Local Fall Preview Days
    • Spring Testing - ELP & EPT "how-to" flyer
    AICCU logo
    • Check out the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities at for information about private schools in California.
    • Naviance is a great resource for finding private schools throughout the US.
    • Private schools come in various sizes, philosophies, academic standards, specialties, etc.
    • Private schools can tend to be more expensive than public colleges, but also tend to have more money to give away.
    • Smaller student to teacher ratios 
    • 4 year graduation rates 
    • Many private schools utilize the Common App for their application
      • requires a listing of activities and awards
      • requires a personal statement
      • requires at least two letters of recommendation
      • various deadlines for various schools
    • For schools not utilizing the Common App, check the college website for an 'apply' link.
    WUE logo
    •  Check out the amazing opportunities that abound outside of California:
    • Naviance is a great resource for finding which schools will have your criteria
    • The Western Undergraduate Exchange, or WUE, is the opportunity for students in the western states to receive a reduced out-of-state tuition at participating WUE colleges
      • Each school differs in the criteria for obtaining a WUE agreement, so check carefully
      • WUE usually brings tuition down to 1.5 times the normal in-state tuition for the selected college
      • Click HERE for a list of WUE schools.
    • Cost of living is usually cheaper out of state, so even though tuition may be higher, the total cost of attendance is usually between the cost of attending a UC and a CSU
    • Most out-of-state schools guarantee a four-year graduation rate!
    • PowerPoint for out of state schools
    • Apply online via Common App (see info above, under Private Schools), or via the application link on your college's website.
      Common App logo


    • College Searches
      • Naviance - this is one of the best college search resources!  Use the 'SuperMatch' on the Colleges tab.  Come to the Career Center if you need help figuring it out.
      • BigFuture - Collegeboard's college search engine
      • College Rankings - US News and World Report college rankings
      • College Scorecard - Government site that lists cost, retention, etc.
      • - useful in finding which CSUs and UCs have certain majors
    • Major exploration
      • - useful in finding which CSUs and UCs have certain majors
      • College Majors 101
      • What can i do with a major in...
      • Check on your College's website and view their graduation requirements for your major - make sure it is heading in the direction you want.  Each school is different!
      • The Career Center has 'What can I do with a major in...' flyers - swing by and pick one up!